Watchuseek Blog

Friday, March 30, 2012

New dimensions in time: Rado R-One Limited Edition watch


Surprisingly, as part of the mighty Swatch Group, we rarely hear from Rado in terms of hot new watch news, but at Baselworld 2012 they launched the Rado R-One Limited Edition, which, they earnestly claim, propels watch design well out of the orbit of tradition and convention.

Underneath all the usual press release hyperbole what we really have here is a rather funky and futuristic black as night watch powered by one of the smallest movements known to man. The watch design is said to be inspired by intergalactic travel. 

The appearance of the finished chronograph is supposed to resemble a picture of the earth’s atmosphere taken from space. Three round chronograph sub dials are placed strategically around the dial like space age launch pads.

Each of the 300 pieces that make up the limited edition comes in its own wooden presentation box, mirroring the watch’s shape and protecting it like a time capsule.

With a combination of stretched rectangles and gentle curves the dial design focuses on a dynamic, user-friendly interaction of straight lines and space age circles.

Round counters in applied steel stand out against the sleek black high-tech ceramic, harmonising with futuristic blue luminous hands and a matching fine straight line linking 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Steel, ceramic-capped crown and steel pushers act as the chronograph’s operational ‘cockpit’.

The Rado R-One features a six-hand, Swiss-made 10 ½ ETA 2094, mechanical automatic chronograph movement, one of the smallest ever produced and incorporating a power reserve of 37 hours. A date window midway between three o’clock and four o’clock follows the circular path of the number markings.

The case is ultra scratch resistant high-tech ceramic with a domed sapphire crystal. The watch comes on a black rubber strap with a fine grey line to echo the visual theme. The strap ends in a titanium three-fold buckle with a high-tech ceramic black cover.


Automatic chronograph – Black high-tech ceramic
Limited edition – 300 pieces

10 ½ ETA 2094, mechanical movement, 33 jewels, 6 hands, 2 pushers, date at 4.30, 30-minute and 60 second counters, 12-hour counter, small second at 9 o‘clock, 37 hrs power reserve

Black high-tech ceramic dial with printed indexes, applied steel colour counters

Black high-tech ceramic case with blue luminous
Black titanium case back with sapphire crystal
Steel crown with black ceramic cap
Steel pushers with black ceramic cap

Dome-shaped sapphire crystal

Silver-coloured with blue luminous

Black rubber with grey line
Titanium 3-fold buckle with black high-tech ceramic cover

34.6 x 48.5 x 12.4 (WxLxH in mm)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hamming it up: Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men.”

It’s been an exasperating 17 month wait, hampered with pay disputes and on again, off again contract negotiations with the leading actors, but fans of AMC’s hit TV series “Mad Men” finally have their new season.

Season Five of the Emmy-winning drama premiered on Sunday, March 25.

Now Jaeger-LeCoultre, a brand frequently seen on the wrist of actor Jon Hamm, who plays agency Creative Director Donald Draper, is offering an extremely limited watch made specifically for diehard fans: the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men.”

Limited to just 25 pieces, Jaeger-LeCoultre watches have been appearing on “Mad Men” regularly since the first season.

The show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, is meticulous in choosing period-appropriate props for the show, including watches. In Season One, he placed a vintage JLC Memovox model on the wrist of Don Draper.

In Season Three, after making partner at his firm, Draper began wearing a vintage Reverso.”

When “Mad Men” and Jaeger-LeCoultre got together to produce a special edition, North American president of Jaeger Philippe Bonay had two rules for his creative team: he wanted a very small production run and a model that would show an understanding of the show and its world. “I wanted something that was chic and still somewhat irreverent,” he says, “something that really captures the spirit of the show.”

Jaeger’s Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 model, introduced last year was the answer. Each numbered piece features the logo of Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce, the show’s fictional advertising firm, engraved on the caseback, and comes in a distinctive walnut commemorative box also bearing the SCDP logo.

Fans of the show — and of vintage watch advertisements — will also appreciate the extras that come with the watch. “We’ve raided our archives to find several old Jaeger-LeCoultre advertisements,” Bonay said, of which high-quality reproductions will be included in the box.

 Other collectors’ items include a copy of “Sterling’s Gold,” a book written by one of the show’s characters, Roger Sterling, the sharp-tongued veteran ad man played by John Slattery.

There's also  a personalised, commemorative letter from Sterling in which he presents the watch as a gift to the new owner in that character’s distinctive voice. The book is autographed by Matthew Weiner.

"The premise for the watch is that Roger Sterling gifts it to his longtime employees,” Bonay explains.

“Each owner gets a letter with his own name on top, and the date on the letter will be a date between Feb. 1 and Feb. 25, 1966, a different date for each of the 25 watches, because Season Five takes place in 1967.

Even the publicity photos were shot on the “Mad Men” set, in Roger Sterling’s office.

The price for the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin 1931 Tribute to “Mad Men” is set at $8,450.

Jaeger-LeCoultre is running a contest on the brand’s Facebook page. Budding Don Drapers can create their own ad campaign in the style the “Mad Men” character would have dreamed up for the Reverso back in the 1960s. The contest is another sign of the stylistic synergy between the ad agency TV drama and the historic watch brand.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chris Ashton becomes GRAHAM Brand Ambassador

GRAHAM has announced a new partnership with Chris Ashton, one of world rugby's most prolific try-scorers. Chris, who recently signed a £250,000 deal with England champions Saracens, was born in Wigan in 1987 and was a product of St John Fisher School.

Chris initially made his name in the 13-man code, rugby league. Chris' major breakthrough in the Premiership came in the 2009/2010 season as he embarked on a run of form that brought him 23 tries in 32 games and saw him win both the Premiership Player-of-the-Season and RPA Try-of-the-Season awards.

Chris' club form was recognised with a call-up to the England squad for the 2010 Six Nations Championship and he made his senior Test debut against France in Paris. In the 2011 Six Nations Championship, Chris scored two tries on the opening weekend against Wales before becoming the first person in the history of the tournament to score four tries in a single match, against Italy.

The six tries Chris scored in the first two rounds of last season's Six Nations equalled the championship record for an individual in a single season, but he has perhaps become even more famous for his dramatic try-scoring swallow dives.

Chris represented England at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and finished the tournament as the joint leading try-scorer. In January 2012, he was named in the England senior elite player squad for the forthcoming Six Nations. He is a big GRAHAM supporter and proudly wears a Swordfish Booster Blue.

Tomorrow is Chris's 25th birthday, and the question is, will he be getting a new GRAHAM watch to celebrate?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

OceanArc Series One LE diver

If you are not convinced that your ever faithful Rolex Submariner or brand new Sea Dweller are saying enough about you, you can always make some real noise and opt for a new OceanArc Series One diver. This watch will get you noticed, it may or may not attract all the comments you long for, but the OceanArc Series One is definitely a statement diver.

With an attention grabbing 14 sided stainless steel, matt black DLC coated45mm case, the bright lime yellow and deep sky blue Super Luminovas colour scheme on the hands and hour markers  holler ‘I’m here!’

According to Bristol (actually Batstone, Gloucester) based design engineer Kevin Lambert, the design started with the icon of a cresting wave and this formed the basis of the face and OceanArc logo design.

The Waveform dial marking underscores the hand designs and hour markers which are in the form of tridents, and an icon of the sea gods from various mythologies. Lastly the sweeping seconds hand is formed into its own cresting wave to complete the fine detail of the watch.

“I have been a watch enthusiast for many years. I decided to combine my love of watches with my skills, and design from scratch the dive watch I would want to wear. My design premise was simple, the watch must be complex in its design, with many fine details. It must stand out from the crowd and be instantly recognisable.” Kevin Lambert, OceanArc
To make this design even more stand out, Kevin used the various colours of the Super Luminova compound so that even in the dark the Series One sings out for attention.

The movement is an ETA 2824-2, with standard 28,800 vibrations per minute and with a power reserve of around 41 hours.

The strap is of black Sting Ray hide 24mm wide leather, which Kevin chose because it’s a naturally tough and water resistant material.

Water resistant to 200m, the OceanArc Series One will be available from summer 2012 in a limited edition of 500 pieces.

The bravest thing Kevin did is to present the watch to the opinions of the Watchuseek forum prior to launch. This is like commando hell week for any newbie watch, and needless to say many have not held back in their criticism – but also praise.

Quite a few have commented on the price, as in how high it is for a 2824-2. At £1,999 (US$3,195) or (£1,665 exclusive of VAT) that is actually the special offer price. When it goes on sale it will be £2,399 (inclusive of VAT, or £1,999 ex VAT). 

However, the comments are by no means all negative, one forum member has commented: “I like how subtle it is. This one could easily go from the boardroom to a dive without second thought.... and the price is right as well.” And several have commented that the look breaks the mould and is anything but a homage watch.
Even though subtle is one thing the OceanArc Series One is not.

There is currently an early bird incentive of 20% discount for those who pre-order and this can be done through the OceanArc site. So the cost will be £1,999 including VAT. Check it out here. You can also choose your own serial number on a first come first served basis.


Limited Edition: 500 pieces, (individual serial numbered)
Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic 28.800 vibrations per hour; 4 Hz.; 25 Jewels; Power-Reserve: approx. 41h
Case: 14 sided Stainless steel, Matt black DLC coated
Bezel: Uni-directional with Super-Luminova markings
Dial: Etched in Waveform design with Super-Luminova coated trident hour markers
Hands: Coated in Super-Luminova green, seconds hand in wavecrest design
Dimensions: 42mm
Water-resistance: 200m
Crystal: Anti-reflective Sapphire Crystal

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kennett for the connoisseur: New Swiss designed watch collection

If you haven’t heard of British based Kennett Watches yet, watch this space because the exciting new Swiss designed collection is going to be unleashed upon the watch world very soon.

Conceived in 2007 by Tom Kennett and launched commercially in 2009. The Kennett brand is focused on the design and manufacture of luxury watches and cufflinks.

Kennett already has popular collections including Savro, Challenger, Altitude and Illumin8, designed to be European stylish. They're manufactured under strict control and in low quantities. Specially chosen outlets ensure that the brand is kept exclusive. 

In the five years since the brand was launched, Kennett has managed to strike a chord with the in crowd and several British celebrities, from actor Gerard Butler to former footballer and TV presenter Ian Wright are fans.

The new Swiss designed 2012 collection

Kennett Watches new and extensive collection has been designed as a collaboration between Head of Kennett, Tom Kennett, and leading Swiss Designer Jacques Fournier. The collection, to be released later in 2012, is aimed at the more discerning watch collector.

The wide range of chronographs feature some in muted tones, some in sophisticated black, white and gold, and yet others in striking electric colours. This includes the Kennett Milestone, a reassuringly sizeable chronograph with electric blue, red, purple or yellow accents and matching pushers that contrast strikingly with the moody black tones of the piece.

Prices and technical specifications are still to come but we will update you as soon as we have the information.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Two new Luminox Blackout Models: Original Navy SEAL and Field Valjoux Automatic

Following the success American designed, Swiss made Luminox has enjoyed with its Blackout models over the past two years - introducing one blackout model within several different series - it has now gone back to its roots and released a Blackout version of its Original Navy SEAL watch. 

In addition to this entry level Blackout, Luminox has also launched a Blackout offering in its top end Field Valjoux Automatic Chronograph series.

Luminox has recently moved up market with several new series that retail from $1,000 to $2,500, expressly created to deliver watches more suited to its fastest growing market segment – jewellery stores. 

Luminox claims to be the maker of the world’s most luminous timepieces thanks to the proprietary Luminox Light Technology (LLT) behind each watch. Luminox watches are known to be 'Always Visible' and always glow, and can continue to do so for up to 25 years. 

With the all-black BlackOut series a new blue colour on the hands and hour markers has been introduced for night viewing.  The LLT-micro gas lights are glowing in blue – Blue by Night.

The watches have a completely blacked out appearance, but telling the time is still a cinch thanks to a tone-on-tone look achieved with a jet black dial and dark charcoal numbers and markings. 

The Original SEAL model is water resistant to 200 metres while the Field Valjoux Automatic Chronograph is capable of 100 metres and, like all Luminox watches, is Swiss made.   
Black is a key colour for Luminox because of the covert nature of the wearers of the brand – SWAT teams, Navy SEALS, Stealth fighter pilots, and other professionals.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Labour of love: Vangarde Tempo Theory watch

'What is created without effort, is in general perceived without pleasure.'

This paraphrasing of Samuel Johnson’s well known quote aptly summarises the philosophy of French watchmaker Vangarde.

After two years of planning, countless designs, prototypes, trials, tests and difficult decisions, the eponymously named Vangarde is proud to present its first watch: the Tempo Theory, a limited edition with just eighty-eight numbered copies.

The creative idea behind the watch was to transform the conventional way of telling the time, with the hand pointing on a layered scale, in a complex and poetic architectural display.

Complex equation

Vangarde explains that the Tempo Theory draws the viewer into a complex equation involving the relationship between energy (the mainspring) movement (rotation around an axis) and shape (visual composition of the hands).

The hour and minute hands overlap, intersect and are juxtaposed, while the sub-dial hands complete the kinetic design making the overall effect even more complex.

All these combinations come together to form a moving work of art, set in motion by the mechanical energy of a spring. The stunning visual effect sparks curiosity, while the watch remains perfectly easy to read.

Calibre VI movement

With Tempo Theory, Vangarde's 29-jewel custom 'Calibre V1' movement is set within a black galvanised 316L steel case, shaped from a solid block, made up of a single casing with precision machined housing (no housing ring) with a bezel and a screwed base, both polished and fitted with O rings.

The case is then decorated with hand-wrought Côtes de Genève (damaskeening) patterning. The movement, with a 48 hour power reserve, is topped with a layer of gears before the final piece with its exposed aluminum alloy hands and time dial.

Vangarde’s aim was to create a watch which tempts its owner want to keep looking again and again, going beyond a mere time-piece to create an artistic composition created by the passage of time.

Kinetically engineered hands

The hands were a long and difficult process because they required not a static design like ordinary hands, but a kinetic design which would take into account their rotational movement, so that they would align in the most evocative way possible through the hundreds of permutations created by the design.

The superluminova was inserted inside the hands in a different configuration to make it easier to distinguish between hours and minutes. Once the design of the hands was complete, the next challenging task was to create a worthy 'backdrop' for them.

Skeleton dial

A complex, asymmetric skeleton dial was designed to fit the background formed by the calibre V1 and the kinetic patterns produced by the hands.

The positioning of the sub-dials breaks up the typical chronograph layout to produce a more balanced appearance. The development of the printed elements constituted a graphic design project in itself, with the subtle positioning of figures and text to produce a visually stunning overall effect.

316L stainless steel case

The dials are laser cut, galvanised, then finished in black with white print. Finally the whole is housed in a 316 L stainless steel case.

The sapphire crystals feature state of the art art anti-glare treatment to minimise unwanted reflection. The caseband has a brushed, satinised surface which contrasts beautifully with the crown and the push buttons which are polished and decorated in 'Clous de Paris' style.

Alligator skin strap

The bracelet is made in France from carefully selected Louisiana alligator skin, it is hand assembled and sewn, then fixed to the casing with stainless steel tubular fixings.

Vangarde values

Vangarde is an independent French designer of hand-crafted watches, aimed at connoisseurs of contemporary watch making looking for original and exclusive timepieces.

The watches are produced under the direct control of the Vangarde brand with a dozen Swiss watchmakers specialised in high-end limited edition watchmaking.

The watches are only available by direct order and are delivered by courier, with a money-back guarantee if the customer is not completely satisfied.

By selling directly and cutting out distributors, Vangarde are able to offer attractive prices despite the high costs associated with making a handmade product in limited quantities.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Drive Hard: Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson

When Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal is not putting his Richard Mille Rafa RM 035 watch through sheer torture on the tennis court, 33 year old American golfer Bubba Watson is swinging his new RM 055 Bubba Watson across the golf courses of the world.

The new model is inspired by the RM 038 Bubba Watson tourbillon watch presented in 2011. Its mechanical movement in grade 5 titanium reveals a whole lot of skeletonisation, with a PVD- and Titalyt® treated baseplate and bridges. We are told that combination provides the whole structure with optimum rigidity and excellent surface flatness for the gear train. This in turn enables the RMUL2 movement to be  capable of withstanding accelerations of over 500-G’s. More than enough to accommodate Bubba's best golf drive, which averages 315 yards.

 The ATZ bezel is made from tubes of aluminum oxide powder injected at a pressure of nearly 2,000 bars. ATZ is known for its high scratch-resistance (1,400 Vickers) and its unchangeable colour. Next to a diamond, it is one of the hardest materials in the world. It requires long and intricate machining using diamond tools to create a perfect example of this complex, curved bezel and the silky smooth satin finish.

The case middle and back bezel are in grade 5 titanium with a protective white rubber casing. The rubber is injected at high pressure around the titanium components, to insulate the movement from all vibrations.  Which explains why a Richard Mille watch can take such a pasting on the wrist of top sportsmen and still remain supremely comfortable to wear.

A worthy successor to the RM 038 Bubba Watson, the new RM 055 is a highly technical and precise timepiece for the left hander known for his tremendous long drives across the world's most famous greens.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breitling at Baselworld: Transocean Chronograph Unitime

 Breitling has just launched the Transocean Chronograph Unitime at Baselworld; it's a new 50's inspired worldtimer that simultaneously and constantly indicates the time in all 24 time zones. The watch also has a new in-house “universal time” chronograph movement, the B-05.

To change time zone, simply pulling out the crown and turning it in one-hour increments is enough to adjust in one smooth move the hour hand, city disc and the 24-hour disc, including the calendar — and none of these operations disturbs either the time or any timekeeping operations in progress.

With this system it's possible to see at a glance what time it is in any other time zone in the world, including the chosen home zone. 

The central minutes hand and seconds hand will continue to run during this operation without interruption; if the chronograph is switched on, it, too, continues running undisturbed. The watch also has a 1/4 second central chronograph. 

The watch is powered by the Calibre B05, based on Breitling’s first in-house movement, the automatic chronograph Calibre B01, introduced in 2009. In addition to its chronograph functions, this new movement is outfitted with a patented mechanism that allows the wearer, when changing time zones, to adjust all the indications simply by turning the crown.

The Transocean Chronograph Unitime is offered in both a rose-gold and stainless-steel case, on either a leather strap or a steel Milanese bracelet. The dial options are black or “polar” white, each with an elegantly rendered globe design in the centre, surrounded by sundials for the chronograph counters (at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock) and small seconds (at 9 o’clock).

As with other Breitling chronographs, the Transocean Chronograph Unitime is officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss testing agency COSC. The retail price is $11,200.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Perfect timing: Groupama cross the finish line more than 80 nautical miles ahead of nearest competitor.

Groupama sailing team claimed a dramatic Leg 4 victory last Saturday after the discovery of a hole in their bow threatened to sink their lead within 100 miles of the Auckland finish.

The French team rallied in eight metre seas and 30 knot headwinds to isolate the leak and drain 1.5 tonnes of water before crossing the finish line at 10:33:47 UTC/23:33:47 local, more than 80 nautical miles ahead of their nearest competitor.

Skipper Franck Cammas was thrilled with the win and in becoming the first French team to take line honours in a Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race finish into Auckland, although 33 Export did win on handicap back in 1977-78.

"It's a great day for Groupama 4 and it's a great to arrive here first into Auckland,'' Cammas said. "I'm pretty sure we're going to have a good time here with all the sailing fans. It's a good place to win for sure."
Cammas, a first time Volvo Ocean Race competitor, said the race was won and lost on a bold decision made by navigator Jean-Luc Nélias.

"The key thing for this leg was to be quick and to make good decisions," he said.  "We knew we had to do both of those things and we did. This is where we ended up. The turning point in the leg was when we made a very bold call with PUMA in the north and it paid off. That was the decisive moment."

Winning the unofficial race to be the first Kiwi home was elated bowman Brad Marsh who flew a New Zealand flag overhead as the team were welcomed to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour by hundreds of family, friends and fans.

“It feels amazing,” the 28-year-old Aucklander said. "It’s a childhood dream for me. I didn’t allow myself to think about winning up until today. But the excitement set in as we came down the coast and I realised it was all going to happen."

Groupama have stymied Team Telefónica’s winning streak of three consecutive leg wins and claimed 30 points that will shoot them to the top of the leaderboard with a total of 103.

This victory allows French crew of Groupama 4 to gain a place in the overall standing and therefore to take the second place behind team Spanish Telefonica.

And of course on the wrist of Franck Cammas since he left Alicante, Spain on November 4th, is his trusty Diverscope from the Swiss watchmaker JeanRichard.

The gruelling round the world race with will end in Galway, Ireland on July 7th 2012.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A tribute to antiquity: Hublot Antikythera

After a week of exhbiting many superb watches from Baselworld on the Watchuseek forum, welcome back to the Watchuseek blog.

We featured the unique Antikythera creation from Hublot  some months ago when it was being exhibited  at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. It's where Hublot publicly unveiled the movement developed as a tribute to the Antikythera mechanism.

The remarkable astronomical calculator from the 2nd century BC, and whose remains were discovered in Greek waters in 1900, describes the movements and position of the moon and the sun in the sky.

Hublot has paid tribute to this Antiquity by reproducing the mechanism in miniature, resulting in a movement with the dimensions of a wristwatch, adding to it hours, minutes and a tourbillon escapement system, and a generous 5-day power reserve, as a modern signature.

Baselworld 2012 provided the occasion for Hublot to finally unveil the "Antikythera" watch itself.

The Antithykera is a watchmaking tribute to the Ancient world and, as decreed by Jean-Claude Biver,  only 4 identical timepieces will ever be created.

The first – which was on display at the Basel watch show - will be going to the Athens Museum where it will be exhibited alongside the fragments of the original Antikythera Mechanism.

The second will be sold at auction, with proceeds going to the Archaeological Museum of Athens.

The third will remain on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.
And the fourth will be kept by Hublot for posterity in its own museum.

The watch represents a fusion between ancient and modern times. Its two facetted sapphire crystals emphasise and showcase the dual display of the double-sided movement.

Two crowns, each adorned with the same cross, echo the original form of the Antikythera Mechanism.

The crown located at 6 o'clock is used to wind the piece and set the time, while the crown positioned at 12 o'clock is used to correct the mechanism's astronomical indications, by indexing the moon's age in relation to the position of the sun.

Due to the sheer complexity of the data being displayed, the crowns have been secured to prevent their settings from being changed accidentally.The movement of choice is the Hublot Antikythera calibre 2033-CH01 with a powerful power reserve of 120 hours.

A microblasted titanium case protects this most intricate and exceptional mechanical timepiece.

To harmonise with the sapphire crystals, the case also features a facetted finish. The watch comes on a rubber strap, specially designed for this model. And the price? Don't ask.


Masterpiece MP-04 Antikythera
Case: micro-blasted titanium - Length 49.90 mm X width 49.05 mm X thickness 20.83 mm
Bezel: micro-blasted titanium
Crowns: micro-blasted titanium with black rubber moulding
Lateral inserts: micro-blasted black PVD titanium
Crystal: sapphire with colourless anti-reflective coating
Case-back: micro-blasted titanium
Water resistance: 3 ATM, equivalent to approximately 30 metres
Hublot Antikythera calibre 2033-CH01, Manual winding
Hours, minutes
Seconds via the tourbillon cage
Flying tourbillon without ball bearing
Power reserve: 120 hours

Monday, March 5, 2012

A bigger splash: Linde Werdelin Oktopus II Double Date

Destined to be one of the key talking points at Baselworld 2012, the new Oktopus II from Linde Werdelin is designed to work with the “Reef”, the brand’s dive calculator that fits over the watch case.

The new Linde Werdelin Oktopus II Double Date is also likely to be considered one of the most advanced within the world of dive watches. 

It follows on from the Oktopus originally launched in 2009 to huge acclaim, engineered with an extra-tough and durable body with Linde Werdelin’s hallmark futuristic 3-dimensional design approach.

Five-part case

The Oktopus II Double Date’s innovative five part case construction ensures absolute water resistance as well as excellent protection against seawater corrosion. The four case parts at three, six, nine and twelve o’clock, are built separately from the movement chamber and are used to attach the strap as well as to hold the attachable Reef calculator instrument.

The construction was inspired by air-tight pressure chambers used for diving simulations when testing both the Oktopus II and the Reef. All the screws comprise of laminated tension discs to tighten and reinforce the construction. The mechanism is perfectly protected as it is housed inside a special chamber that is totally sealed and separated from the other four parts of the case.

Robust 15.25mm x 46mm case construction

The case is a robust 15.25mm thick by 46mm, which makes for easy and assured handling while under water.

“To guarantee this we have chosen anticorrosive materials such as gold, titanium and ceramic, the last employed for the first time on our timepieces,” explains Morten Linde.

Cutting edge precision

As Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin went on to explain, the new Oktopus II had been crafted with such precision that it would not be possible to create it just 10 years ago. The watch is water resistant up to 300 metres.

Two layer dial

The dial of the Oktopus II is built in two layers. The upper level is cut out in a stencil, it bears the LW logo and indexes 3, 6 and 9 all coated in superluminova, together with the big calendar wheels, the dial reveals the icon of an octopus. The lower dial is made with a circular Cote de Genève dial to give the effect of water ripples. Two circular wheels indicate the date through the unmissable double date aperture at 12 o’clock.

Three variations

The Oktopus II comes in three variations. The first combines titanium with ceramic (expected to retail at $9,800, the second is made of titanium, titanium DLC and ceramic with yellow accents, $ 10,500, while the third comes in rose gold and ceramic, $20,600. Oktopus II represents the first time that Linde and Werdelin have used ceramic for one of their models.

Custom made movement

The Oktopus II is powered by a Dubois Depraz Calibre 14580 self-winding movement specially made for Linde Werdelin and provides 44 hour of power-reserve.

Look out for the full Linde Werdelin Oktopus II collection at Baselworld, but they won’t hit the streets – never mind the water - until Autumn 2012.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Black ops: Rodania XSEBA Black Edition.

If Belgian market leader in watches Rodania is new to you, watch out for the new XSEBA Black Edition. It’s already a firm favourite in Rodania's collection amongst the brand's followers, largely thanks to its dark and sophisticated good looks and an abundance of aesthetic and functional details.

The XSEBA Black Edition features a 44mm stainless steel case, black fluted bezel, a tachymeter scale on the flange, a guilloché dial and red centre seconds hand with the Rodania logo as counterweight.  The display caseback reveals the Valjoux7750 movement. You should be able to pick up the Xseba Balck Edition for around $1,600 or possibly significantly less with some shrewd web surfing.

Rodania history

The Rodania brand was created in 1930 by Mr. Hans Baumgartner of the Baumgartner family in the small village of Lengnau in Switzerland, home to many other famous Swiss brands.

From the start, the company enjoyed an excellent reputation and was famous for its slim lines and pocket watches.

Rodania grew quickly and opened sales offices in New York, Montreal, Caracas, Madrid and Brussels. The Brussels branch was placed under the supervision of Mr. Manfred Aebi.

As with many Swiss watch brands, the invasion of cheaper Japanese and Far Eastern quartz watches resulted in a severe threat to the brand, and although the Swiss management fought hard to control the situation, business shrank rapidly. By the mid nineties the factory in Grenchen was only a fraction of what it used to be and it was on the brink of bankruptcy.

As market leader in Belgium, the Aebi family simply could not afford for Rodania to disappear and they came to the rescue. They bought the brand, licenses and all copyrights thus ensuring the brand's survival.

Under the supervision of the Aebi family, the Rodania brand maintained its position as an important player in the Benelux countries and successfully opened a subsidiary in France.

Rodania has also started exporting watches again. Most recently, in order to achieve greater international aspirations, the family sought to attract foreign capital by means of the Belgo-Dutch investment group BV Capital Partners. Having achieved this, the Aebi family sold the company to the investment group and is no longer a shareholder.


Movement: Automatic, Valjoux 7750
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, chronograph and tachymeter
Case: Stainless steel, 44mm
Fluted bezel in black coated steel
Sapphire crystal front and back
Water resistance: 100m / 10 ATM
Dial: Black with "lozenge" guilloché
30-minute counter at 12 o'clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock, small
seconds at 9 o'clock
Day and date windows at 3 o'clock
Bracelet/Strap: Black leather with double-pusher safety clasp
Other versions Black case and bezel or 18K pink gold caselet/Strap

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blue Toro: Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Calendar LE watch

Blue Toro from Ulysse Nardin is a COSC certified high tech perpetual calendar with a dual time function and the legendary UN-32 in-house self-winding movement.

It’s the only perpetual calendar that adjusts forward and backward in seconds over the quick corrector position of a single crown, even in the year 2100.

The movement is automatically charged by means of a 22k gold rotor which allows for up to 45 hours of power reserve.

The hour hand is adjusted instantly to a new local time with pushers (+) or (-) without taking the watch off the wrist or interfering with its time keeping.  The bezel and pushers are made of ceramic. 

The arrow keeps track of either your home or reference time while the hands allow for easy reading of all calendar functions.

Turn the watch over and the sapphire caseback provides an intriguing glimpse at the mechanics of time.

The blue dial features an oversized date, and the day, the month and the year change instantly forward or backward when the hour hand is moved to a new local time across the dateline again with the (+) or (-) pushers.

The watch combines modern materials with a timeless eye catching dial design. Limited to just 99 pieces, Blue Toro Limited Edition is available only in Ulysse Nardin Boutiques.


Limited Edition: 99 pieces
Movement: Calibre UN-32, 34 jewels
Power-Reserve: approx. 45h
Winding: Self-winding with COSC certificate.
Functions: Perpetual Calendar adjustable over single crown. 2nd Time zone on main dial with a patented quick setting mechanism. Permanent home time indicated by 3rd hand. Big date in double window.
Case: 18 ct rose gold with a blue ceramic bezel
Dimensions: 43mm
Water-resistance: 100m Dial blue
Crystal: Anti reflective sapphire crystal
Case-back: sapphire crystal

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